Consumer confidence in Utah’s economy remains high in May

The Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index remained statistically flat in May, dipping just 0.8 points from 112.6 in April to 111.9 in May.

Consumer confidence in Utah has registered above 110 since June last year, indicating that economic prosperity remains high. The overall CAI currently sits 7.7 points higher than its level 12 months ago. In comparison, the national Consumer Confidence Index® decreased 1.5 points from April to May and currently sits at 117.9.

“Utah’s consistent business-friendly policies allow consumers to maintain their high levels of confidence in their current situations and in their economic prosperity a few months out,” said Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank. “It’s a great place to be heading into the summer season so families can enjoy their vacations absent the stress of economic uncertainty.”

The CAI’s plateau resulted from generally steady, confident expectations for the economy, both currently and over the next six months.

  • More people see general business conditions in their area as good—up to 62 percent from 56 percent last month. At the same time, 7 percent fewer people view business conditions as normal, and 1 percent more see business conditions as bad.
  • About the same percentage of people as last month (32 percent) think business conditions in their area will be better in six months.
  • Confidence in the labor market remains high, as 60 percent of consumers describe currently available jobs as plentiful—up from 50 percent last month—and 32 percent think there will be more jobs available in their area six months from now.

Other metrics regarding economic confidence, interest rates, government economic policy, and gasoline prices include:

  • Forty-eight percent of consumers believe the U.S. economy will improve during the next 12 months, compared to 38 percent in April.
  • Seventy percent of Utahns think interest rates will go up in the next 12 months, down slightly from 72 percent in April.
  • Forty-nine percent of residents believe the state government is doing a good job of taking steps to improve Utah’s overall economy, compared to 40 percent last month.
  • Twenty-four percent of Utahns think the federal government is doing a good job taking steps to improve the overall economy, up 4 points from April.
  • Fifty-two percent of Utahns think a $1,000 investment in their 401(k) will be worth more a year from now, compared to 43 percent last month.

“It’s not surprising that we’re reaching a bit of a plateau in terms of consumer confidence in Utah,” said Randy Shumway, Chairman and Partner of Cicero Group. “Consumers have sustained their high levels of confidence in the state’s economy for a considerable period of time, and it’s difficult to improve on something that is already so good.”

Zions Bank provides the CAI as a free resource to the communities of Utah. The monthly CAI summary reports are released at a monthly press conference, coinciding with The Conference Board’s national CCI release date. Analysis and data collection for the CAI are done by Cicero Group, a premier market research firm based in Salt Lake City.